Knitting & Puppy

Working on my longest running work—10 stitch blanket that really, was a mistake to start at this low of gauge but, it’ll eventually one day some years from now be done. Charlotte seems to think it’s perfect just as it is, yarn changes and all.

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12072017

You will ask: what are the horrors of patriotism?

I watched as blood ran down the loosely lined streets—soft billows of hate still rising

each staking their claim, each proclaiming their repugnant holiness, sinew stuck between their teeth

how quaint, your holy city, filled with the corpses of each other, each the others enemy

how endearing & sweet, I can smell the refuse of Gehenna burning, the valley churning as you pillage for another body to burn

how holy. how holy.

what is holier than all the holy wars. what is more joyous than to wrap our gifts in guts—all pounded out & tenderized, a small slip of vein bowed up around the bomb.

Oh, how long is this war.

How often I’ve felt the bones beneath me, crunching, giving way to another layer of death.

Patriotism & religion. They sour my soul. They mark themselves as unholy despite their blood-lust claims.

When Someone Gets It…

My little Firecracker. What can I say—she’s a Firecracker!

Daughter number two, she has questioned my beliefs to the point where I really wasn’t sure she would ever be a Witness. I really thought I lost her for a while.

But slowly, bit by bit, her questions were answered. Firecracker didn’t come to the meetings or assemblies for about two years in her early teens, and even skipped the Memorial one year. I was heart broken, but fully accepted her rejection of what I believed. I prayed about it a lot, but resigned it into Jehovah’s hands. I couldn’t do anything to make her believe the Bible. But somehow, in ways I can’t even explain, she did a full 180.

Firecracker is in her final months of high school & recently got baptized and is conducting a study with a Muslim classmate & engaging in rich conversations with her teachers on all topics. She’s pretty fearless which for a kid that is shy by nature & has had major anxiety is shocking. When other kids her age are out doing who knows what, she is studying, in the ministry, being a great daughter that I’m deeply proud to call mine.

Her Language Arts teacher recently discovered (he’s Irish, & Protestant) the true origins of St. Patrick’s Day, due to his own historical reading. He boldly informed the class of this origin & expresses how appalled he was that all his life he thought he’d been celebrating his Irish heritage but is now shocked—he’s been celebrating the massacre of those who did not conform to ‘Christianity.’ He recognized that if this supposed Saint were alive today they’d be found guilty of numerous crimes, not given a day of all their own. Funny how it takes some people a little learning to understand why others will not run with the pack.

Anyways, my Firecracker then decided to boldly go where few go, and asked him if, after knowing what he knows, he will continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. She described his face to be both confused & embarrassed.

Ya. I know. It’s not easy Mr. Lewis. It’s what we all experience when we know what is right but it is against family & friends & traditions. It is so hard. It’s terrible. You feel like you are betraying those you love, to not just go along with it. I mean, is the celebration today really that bad even tho its origins are so terrible? Well. Ya. They are. And your gut tells you so. If you silence the voice of the crowd, you can hear your own conscience. It’s truthfully brutal. Stepping away from man made tradition into what you know to be right takes a strength that is excruciating at times. You can appear to lack warmth for those who still participate because they misunderstand. What you try to offer as explanation or consolation that it is not to offend them, is little soothe to their bruised feelings.

But my guess is, Mr. Lewis, quite by accident just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. He’s going to discover, if he allows it, that the bulk of everything he’s ever been taught in church or had passed down via family traditions is steeped in massacre & false teachings. It’s beyond comprehension how much lie & filth is in main stream religions. People are starved to know the truth about God, the future, the past—and religion, for centuries, has been a cesspool of deceit & money making with anyone who attempted to translate the Bible in to modern day languages or enlighten the population to the lies of clergy being, at times, burnt at the stake for it, or imprisoned, or beaten, or whatever form of torture the day called for. Heretics is what they’ve all been called, but from my studies, those people throughout history who attempted to teach & translate should be applauded as heroes.

But now you can’t hide the filth of the past. You can’t hide in a state of ignorance. Now, people have access to historical information easily. They don’t need encyclopedias on their shelves to learn. They can follow the trail of lies & misinformation, they can discover the origins of celebrations & see for themselves, there really is a wide road & a narrow road. That narrow road, it’s not the easy one or the one the bulk of humanity chooses to travel. It’s painful to step off the road most taken. It can be lonely. It can be scary. It makes you question who you are, if you’re right, if you’re deceived now, since you were before. It takes digging & searching to know things & believe things that others will call you crazy for believing in.

Yep. Firecracker just happens to be a bold preacher & teacher in her own right now, and is able to ask questions in a way that motivates the heart. Good job Firecracker. I know Jehovah sees both your honest heart & your zeal. I have a feeling Mr. Lewis won’t be so keen to celebrate St. Patrick’s day anymore. But there is huge joy in finding there is both happiness & fulfillment in discovering truth, despite its challenges. Maybe Firecracker will be a help to show him, it’s okay. You can survive believing something different & looked down upon. You can survive & gain the joy of knowing answers to your questions after feeling lost or deceived all that time. It is an amazing freedom.

Anxiety & Children

Over the years I’ve learned that Anxiety (yes with a capital A) is a massive mental illness of all its own. All five of my kids have Anxiety.

In years past, say when I went to elementary, parents called in to say, ‘my kid is barfing’ or ‘they have a fever today’ or ‘they have a wretched cough!’ But now, my number one illness phone call excuse is: Anxiety. Not only that but I believe that they are more prone to the usual ailments of old due to this chronic illness of Anxiety.

I’ve seen over the years the older two have grown out of the worst of it only having minor flare ups. The middlest never had anxiety until this year when it started slowly, and came to a head when she was literally rendered speechless and immobile by a panic attack at school.

My fourth has had terrible anxiety since she started school, and my fifth, the only boy has it a little less than number four, but still significant that some days he just can’t pull himself together to get to school.

All my school kids are honour roll kids, all doing the best in Mathematics of all things. My experience with this mental illness has become so extensive I have gotten to the point where I realize the best medicine is to let them stay home & get it under control. My kids love school, and days where they have it under control, they are eager to get out the door. The other days, the ones where the anxiety has flared, their health requires a soft home environment. I have no idea what I’ll do if & when I get a job outside the home, but I feel like it needs to be acknowledged that the way we live puts a major stress on mental health. This is evident by the rise in suicides & medications for people. None of my kids are medicated for this illness, and I aim to keep it that way. Especially after seeing the oldest two grow mostly out of this hyper sensitivity to their school environments.

They both hold jobs successfully, one bartending & looking at what she wants to go back to school for; the other plans on going into Construction Engineering Technology. She is so in love with Construction but because of her knee & her wicked science & math scores along with a strength in being an enforcer will no doubt excel at that. Despite Anxiety that has literally sent us to hospital with each of them, they are getting on with life & managing their symptoms. Sleep, nutrition & home time seem to be the best medicine for this complex & ever changing illness. They are all outgoing people who enjoy other people. But this world in all its roughness takes a toll.

I think understanding the complex nature of the brain & its response to things is relatively new for people of my generation who generally didn’t suffer from debilitating anxiety. I experience anxiety myself more now than ever before. It is physical feeling combined with mental stress. It feels like it flares & then is gone and literally, I can endure stress really well when it’s not flared up. Then, some time later, the flare up occurs and simple things like dirty dishes or the floor needing to be vacuumed will literally feel like more than I can bear.

I imagine this is how it is for the kids too. Unexplainable & extreme. So, mental health days—a new but necessary coping strategy. Let’s all embrace them.

How Loss…

How loss

Strikes at the bones.

How loss

Breaks wide with a wetness, heart bleeding to lung

How loss

Scatters the mind & fuses to the spine

How loss

Comes tiptoeing up beside the bed each night

How loss

Echoes through the waves of blinding snow

How loss

Becomes everything except, a home

How loss

Eats away at the little veins that run up our necks

How loss

Rips them from us

How loss

Grates away the nerves & the sinews

How loss

Is a full grave, both in our chest & in the ground

How loss

It comes back around

How loss

Makes us weep. Makes us drown.

What Cold Days But Warm Hearts Look Like…

So, it’s a rare thing that most of our Service group gets a picture together, but here we are. My oldest is the only publisher missing I believe.

Sunday service is always really good. Most of us have at very least doorstep Bible studies. My best progressive call is with a woman about my age, military family & so sweet. Four kids, all nearly grown and when I was done our little study this week, I offered her the Watchtower on the greatest gift & asked her what gift she was most thankful for. Her reply was sincere— that her whole family would be home for Christmas, her eldest is in basic training in Ontario. I can only imagine the trepidation she feels knowing he will be serving in the military soon.

Our hall now has Hindi North associating with our congregation, which actually address four Indian languages, & Arabic is with one of the other congregations in the hall.

I have found, most people in our territory have become far more receptive to wanting to know what the Bible teaches recently. Everyone seems to have found this. People seem to enjoy hearing good news & having their questions about world conditions & what the Bible gives as a hope for the future answered. Despite the cold yesterday, we had great conversations with all the people we got home. Everyone. How great is that?!

The spiritual food being provided in huge amounts—that is proof of God’s true organization at work on earth. Combine it with the unity & love of our brotherhood regardless of racial, national or lingual background—I am so thankful to be a part of this global preaching work alongside the brothers & sisters.

Forgotten

and so that intense quiet of snow upon snow has consumed

both light & sound, already, the world in all its greenery

has become some fictitious memory boasted about by strange bullies & beasts

I am washed down, with this tin taste of blood in my lungs, the cold only biting with small teeth

how often have I run, lungs bursting, drowning, here in the cold

what wild consumptions of ice & black & how peculiar this sky, singing strange horrors in the night

all things are whimpering at the door, humming, or howling…or screaming

slowly light attempted its feeble rise, only to fall, in breaths of blood & flicker

Ask me what I know? How does the North keep me alive inside it’s deathly embrace?

How much blood has it frozen, blued, crusted in the veins of my fingers & toes & most definitely my heart?

How lovely is the frozen face & the water eyes of winter as they realize…

I once heard, rumours of soft sand & high held sun & ocean waves & leaves that never fall; of trees that do not stand, thin stark & white, glimmering rig immortally in the night

But here, this sway of stiff limbs & creaking bows & strange songs slithering along the snow, this, this is all I know. It is hum-drumming through these frozen wastelands—where my body barely breathes, only puffs, clouds of haze & glow.

A Jehovah’s Witness, a Muslim & a Catholic walk into…

A Jehovah’s Witness, a Muslim & a Catholic walk into a dental office. This is a true story. 

I am the Witness. The dental assistant was the Catholic, & the dentist is the Muslim, and it’s Halloween. 

Being at the dentist on Halloween of course brings up the topic of candy & celebration. 

“Nope. We don’t celebrate Halloween.”

“What?! No demonic celebrations for you?” laughs the dentist. 

“Nope. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, we kind of abstain from satanic celebrations.”

I know Muslims. They ‘don’t celebrate Halloween’ but they also don’t not celebrate Halloween. It all depends on how Muslim they are. 

The Catholic, European in origin, with a thick Polish accent, as well, does not celebrate ‘Halloween’ but does certainly celebrate All Soul’s Day on November 1st. 

Well, as the conversation continues, they are surprised to both learn that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in an after life. At least not one that is similar to their beliefs. 

It was a nice little conversation between people of three different faiths & in the end, I felt it had made a small dent in the misunderstandings & lies of Christendom & that someone Muslim could see Witnesses refuse to water satanic teachings into Biblical ones. 

What Is The Condition of the Dead? The Bible is clear & concise on what happpens at Death & what hope lies ahead for those who have died. Yet another beautiful video for teaching those who are humble, honest & hungry for spiritual food.